Friday, December 16, 2011

Raspberry earrings featured in UKHandmade

A lovely surprise this morning , with my Raspberry pair of earrings featured in ukhandmade


Thank you UKHandmade :)

A Brief Guide to Current British Fashion Trends



At IndependentBoutique.com, we solely sell fashion and accessories from British-based designers. In a recent series of interviews we carried out with our designers, we asked; what makes fashion designed or made Britain, British? We wanted to understand what gave British design its appeal. Fortunately we have in excess of eighty British fashion and accessories designers on our website, most of which were keen to give us their views on the matter, below are some of their responses. We asked them to describe what they do and how they categorise “British” fashion. They tended to describe British design as “bold”, “daring”, “innovative”, “quirky” and “eccentric”, but were reluctant to pin the style down as having a particular look. British bag designer Heidi Mottram, describes British design as that which shows “global appeal”, when we delve a little deeper into the interview answers, it is heritage and the influence of multi-culture which seems key to making British fashion stand out on a global stage.

There is no doubt Britain’s history has done much to shape the modern UK fashion landscape. Without the legacy of the British Empire, whose colonies once covered close to a quarter of the Earth, Britain would have never enjoyed periods of prosperity through trade. Most notably the trade of exquisite world fabrics and all things shiny passing through London from the 17th to 19th centuries, spurred a demand for refined apparel and jewellery. Driven initially by royals and the land owning elite, tailored and designer clothing became both a requisite of the upper classes and something to aspire to for everybody else, we can see hints of today with in the coverage given to what is worn by Kate Middleton and the new high profile elite, celebrities. During this period of Empire, London became a hub not just for trade, but a centre for world artists and scholars, which saw the creation of world-class institutions. Carmen Woods, British leather bag designer, said in her interview the “quality of British fashion schools” is helped by having “great museums and art galleries to use as reference points”.  A sentiment shared by British fashion designer Irena Lane, who identified the “melting pot of cultures, art and music movements” as key to keeping British designers’ ideas “fresh and vibrant”.
It comes as no surprise to find a large number of globally respected fashion colleges in the UK, particularly in cities like London where the arts and academia attracted people from throughout the world. Central St Martin’s college in London, was identified by Fashionista Magazine of New York as theworld’s top fashion school in 2010, the college’s graduates include Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Paul Smith to name but a few. 
At these institutions designers can develop under the nurture and guidance of those established within the industry. Catherine Marche, French born, UK -based jewellery designer believes that British fashion schools create “daring people eager to push boundaries” and that confidence creates “a love story between the public and the designers; each inspires the other”.

The British public, the context in which these designers create, must be also pivotal in characterising British fashion. Elliot Rhodes, prolific belt designer, summed it up quite nicely by saying “the UK is a permissive society that allows people to experiment with their ideas”. Bronwyn Lowenthal of UK ethical fashion brand “Lowie”, moved to the UK from Australia and she believes that this openness means the British “embrace ‘new’ fashions more readily than any other country”, which keeps the British fashion scene at the forefront of trends. So whilst the designers are allowed to experiment and the public are keen to embrace new styles, Peony and Moore UK handbag designers, believe that the real key to success for British fashion, is that UK designers “bridge the gap between pushing the boundaries, with eccentric style on the catwalk, and implementing commercial designs which people want to buy”.
Elliot Rhodes reasons in his interview that “we harness the past and reinvent it for the present effectively”. This rich history serves British designers; much like an extensive and well rehearsed repertoire serves a musician. The old classics can be pulled out and re-engineered when needed; the strengths of past hits can be built upon, and when new instruments and genres come about, the British are well equipped and eager re-invent themselves in order to embrace new methods and styles. To carry on the comparison of designers and musicians, the audience of a musician is just as important; the successful artist understands what his crowd wants and what makes them respond: as the crowd evolves so must the artist. With exceptional musicians, it is they who evolve without alienating their audience and it is the crowd who catches up.
If there is one answer that summed up the interview responses, it was an answer given by handbag designer Lucy Clayphan of Peony and Moore “we mix and match from different cultures better than anyone else in the world, seamlessly!” as if the history of interaction with different cultures has become a current advantage. She concludes that “it also helps that the British are fashion junkies which means we have “fast” fashion on the shoulders of established brands!”  This heritage and cultural hunger is difficult to emulate or even fully characterise, yet it is what UK-based designers believe sets them apart from global competition.
Simon Prato-Scarlett, Business Development Director – Independent Boutique Ltd
 By 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas, get your voucher now !

Have you heard of Heartsy.me?

It’s an amazing website that offers extremely good deals on handmade goods.

Wanna get $65 worth of my goods for only $30?
This is my lovely Christmas present to you, my dear followers.
Have lots of fun, ENJOY , and happy shopping of  my wonderful jewellery

These kind of deals are going on every day on Heartsy

There are two sections, regular (free) subscribers & VIP (paid) subscribers. Why in the world would you pay to get good deals you ask? VIP members get additional shop credit , get to see the sales earlier than regular

Just a few hours left for my deal

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Catherine Marche interview - French Elegance in London

UK based Jewellery designer Catherine Marche, talks to IndependentBoutique.com about bringing French playfulness to design.
How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

Catherine Marche
Bonjour ! My jewellery speaks to the stylish women and men who want to wear something elegant fun and versatile, with a “certain Je ne sais quoi” French twist. My creations are handcrafted by “moi” in London with sterling silver, 18 carat gold enhanced by luscious gemstones and shimmering pearls. I am a fashion chameleon and live to sail the trends and eras according to my clients’ mood.
What sort of comments do you get about your designs?
My favourite comment is of course “I want one!” I am told my jewellery is desirable because of the use of simple and organic lines, resulting in chic and glamorous French elegance style. People even tend to recognize my illustrative story telling in some of my pieces.

What is your background?
My first job was as a high school mathematics teacher, followed by many years as an IT consultant. I have also attended ecole des Beaux Arts and art schools like Central St Martin’s and London College of Fashion where I learnt fashion illustration, etching and printmaking. My paintings, prints and illustrations have been used in magazines, advertising, on garments, graced London’s underground stations and are in several private and public collections.

Elegant, rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets available on Independent Boutique
Why did you start doing what you do?
After the birth of my children, I gave into my love of sparkly gems and jewels and trained as a jeweller. Being freelance allows me to tailor my days to the little ones’ needs and to indulge in my jewellery and fashion addictions. Amongst my addiction stand fresh Belgium chocolate and macaroons. You will agree that jewellery is much more reasonable.
I love being able to make jewellery as I like combining styles and collections to create my own identity. I do not hesitate to mix vintage and new creations, like simple lines that enhance your own being. I also enjoy being able to create “fashionable” goodies in precious metals, that will last much more than a season to become a classic staple to be transferred to the next generation.

Catherine Marche featured in This is London's ES magazine 2011
Which designers do you rate highly and why?
I like the extravagance of Jean-Paul Gautier, the sexyness of Azzadine Alaia’s tailored creations and the dresses from Tara Jarmon for every day wear I also like the creativity of Lolita de Lempicka’s couture, perfume bottles and ads.

Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves…
I can be inspired by antiquity, a gemstone, a music, a word, feelings… I work in 2 ways, either playing with the metal until something I like happens or sketching ideas and developing something from the initial sketches. I quite like making models, experimenting along the way with different combinations of materials and layouts.

Designs start out as sketches
The production process can last from 3-6 weeks. I tend to make everything from scratch, even multiples, in order to keep each piece more individual. I will be looking into casting some pieces to speed up the making process; although I will still have to clean up, finish and polish the jewels which have been casted.

How do you think your brand has developed?
I am adding new pieces and collections from the initial few pieces I started with, which all belonged to the knitted and the Blum Blum Collections. I am developing the Volutes range at present to add necklaces and more earrings.

What do you hate most about your job?
Nothing really. I would say that you have to be very Health and Safety aware as you will use dangerous substances most days. I also find the constantly rising prices of gold and silver, not to mention platinum can be tricky.
What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now?
I have been thrilled to see my jewellery in books like 1000 Jewelry inspirations and the Encyclopedia of jewellery techniques where my Volutes cuffs were used as an example for the technique of Photo etching, which I use.
I was also very happy to have one of my gold chain necklaces selected for the launch of London Jewellery Week on the catwalk at the Royal Exchange with the likes of Boodles and David Bachet and being in the evening standard.
I have also been delighted to be shortlisted for the Holts academy of Jewellery awards, a finalist at the Precious award, and being awarded a getting started award by the worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
I also received a nice compliment on one of my Cuffs from a very fashion savvy celebrity (who was in Sex and The City), and cannot wait to see many more people wearing my creations. My best compliment is when someone likes what I do enough to desire a bespoke commission. I really enjoy the interaction with the customers to make their dream come to life.
What advice would you have for anyone starting out in jewellery?
Believe in YOUR vision, be confident, go for it and eat lots of dark chocolate. Working in the studio can be a lonely experience, you might want to look for partners or to share a workshop.
Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?
Only in the UK will you find such a variety of street styles and eccentricity. There is a love story going one between the public and the designers, each inspiring the other. There are also great schools which create daring people eager to push boundaries.
Shop The Catherine Marche Collection….
- See more at: http://www.independentboutique.com/blog/catherine-marche-french-elegance/#sthash.nZsjs63F.dpuf

Catherine Marche Interview – French Elegance in London

UK based Jewellery designer Catherine Marche, talks to IndependentBoutique.com about bringing French playfulness to design.
How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

Catherine Marche
Bonjour ! My jewellery speaks to the stylish women and men who want to wear something elegant fun and versatile, with a “certain Je ne sais quoi” French twist. My creations are handcrafted by “moi” in London with sterling silver, 18 carat gold enhanced by luscious gemstones and shimmering pearls. I am a fashion chameleon and live to sail the trends and eras according to my clients’ mood.
What sort of comments do you get about your designs?
My favourite comment is of course “I want one!” I am told my jewellery is desirable because of the use of simple and organic lines, resulting in chic and glamorous French elegance style. People even tend to recognize my illustrative story telling in some of my pieces.

What is your background?
My first job was as a high school mathematics teacher, followed by many years as an IT consultant. I have also attended ecole des Beaux Arts and art schools like Central St Martin’s and London College of Fashion where I learnt fashion illustration, etching and printmaking. My paintings, prints and illustrations have been used in magazines, advertising, on garments, graced London’s underground stations and are in several private and public collections.

Elegant, rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets available on Independent Boutique
Why did you start doing what you do?
After the birth of my children, I gave into my love of sparkly gems and jewels and trained as a jeweller. Being freelance allows me to tailor my days to the little ones’ needs and to indulge in my jewellery and fashion addictions. Amongst my addiction stand fresh Belgium chocolate and macaroons. You will agree that jewellery is much more reasonable.
I love being able to make jewellery as I like combining styles and collections to create my own identity. I do not hesitate to mix vintage and new creations, like simple lines that enhance your own being. I also enjoy being able to create “fashionable” goodies in precious metals, that will last much more than a season to become a classic staple to be transferred to the next generation.

Catherine Marche featured in This is London's ES magazine 2011
Which designers do you rate highly and why?
I like the extravagance of Jean-Paul Gautier, the sexyness of Azzadine Alaia’s tailored creations and the dresses from Tara Jarmon for every day wear I also like the creativity of Lolita de Lempicka’s couture, perfume bottles and ads.

Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves…
I can be inspired by antiquity, a gemstone, a music, a word, feelings… I work in 2 ways, either playing with the metal until something I like happens or sketching ideas and developing something from the initial sketches. I quite like making models, experimenting along the way with different combinations of materials and layouts.

Designs start out as sketches
The production process can last from 3-6 weeks. I tend to make everything from scratch, even multiples, in order to keep each piece more individual. I will be looking into casting some pieces to speed up the making process; although I will still have to clean up, finish and polish the jewels which have been casted.

How do you think your brand has developed?
I am adding new pieces and collections from the initial few pieces I started with, which all belonged to the knitted and the Blum Blum Collections. I am developing the Volutes range at present to add necklaces and more earrings.

What do you hate most about your job?
Nothing really. I would say that you have to be very Health and Safety aware as you will use dangerous substances most days. I also find the constantly rising prices of gold and silver, not to mention platinum can be tricky.
What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now?
I have been thrilled to see my jewellery in books like 1000 Jewelry inspirations and the Encyclopedia of jewellery techniques where my Volutes cuffs were used as an example for the technique of Photo etching, which I use.
I was also very happy to have one of my gold chain necklaces selected for the launch of London Jewellery Week on the catwalk at the Royal Exchange with the likes of Boodles and David Bachet and being in the evening standard.
I have also been delighted to be shortlisted for the Holts academy of Jewellery awards, a finalist at the Precious award, and being awarded a getting started award by the worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
I also received a nice compliment on one of my Cuffs from a very fashion savvy celebrity (who was in Sex and The City), and cannot wait to see many more people wearing my creations. My best compliment is when someone likes what I do enough to desire a bespoke commission. I really enjoy the interaction with the customers to make their dream come to life.
What advice would you have for anyone starting out in jewellery?
Believe in YOUR vision, be confident, go for it and eat lots of dark chocolate. Working in the studio can be a lonely experience, you might want to look for partners or to share a workshop.
Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?
Only in the UK will you find such a variety of street styles and eccentricity. There is a love story going one between the public and the designers, each inspiring the other. There are also great schools which create daring people eager to push boundaries.
Shop The Catherine Marche Collection….
- See more at: http://www.independentboutique.com/blog/catherine-marche-french-elegance/#sthash.nZsjs63F.dpuf

Thursday, December 1, 2011

WOW ! Jewels for Christmas

WOW! Jewels would like to invite you to a spectacular exhibition at the Craft Central. The Winter Collection exhibition will mark our last exhibition together for the forseeable future, and we would like you to join us for this special event.
Our fantastic range of dazzling jewellery will have you spoilt for choice with gift ideas not just for Christmas.
Discuss any ideas for personalized gifts directly with designer-makers, and enjoy the festive atmosphere while trying on dazzling jewellery. We hope to see you there.

Our Designers : Catherine Marche, Lucy Jade Sylvester, Emma Rose, Debbie Carlton, Olga Konopka, Rosemary Lucas, Keren Cornelius will be showing jewellery collections of earrings, http://shop.catherinemarche-designs.com/collections/rings, cufflinks, brooches, cuffs, bracelets, necklaces and chains handmade in their studios in England (London and beyond). The materials used are sterling silver and gold, silk and precious metal clay.

Warmest regards,
WOW! Jewels

Craft Central, St John's Square
London EC1M 4DS

Tuesday Nov. 29 - Friday Dec. 02 2011

Opening times:

Tuesday 12 - 6
Wednesday 11 - 6
Thursday 12 - 7.30
Friday 11 - 6

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